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Gardening suggestions from George Wright of Tubs and Shrubs, West Boldon

Jobs for March - Early Spring work

Early Spring is a great time for getting out in the garden and doing a lot of groundwork.

There are still leaves to be swept, borders to clear and trees to prune.


  • Tender plants and buds – it’s too early and too cold to be bringing plants out of glasshouse and conservatories so keep looking after them indoors for the time being. Also protect early sprouting buds in this cold weather with some horticultural fleece.
  • Where as young summer plants are available in some garden centres, avoid the temptation to buy them if you don’t have a heated greenhouse.
  • Lilly bulbs including the famous lollipop are available from 8/3/06. Ideal for planters for Summer colour. (Hardy)
  • Trees and shrubs – you can still do some pruning and cut back dead wood.
  • This is the time to buy fruit trees and bushes. Full range now in at Tubs and Shrubs including edible blueberries.
  • Plant trees – there’s still plenty of time to get some root growth before spring but avoid using bare root plants when it starts to warm up near the end of the month. Because of this sudden frost and snow we should be ok for a couple of weeks. Rootballed are available for the next couple of months.
  • Lawns - keep the lawn clear of any last leaves that will smother and kill the grass. Keep off the grass when its frosty.
  • Mulch – Mulch your borders and top dress plants in containers.
  • Borders – if you’ve got a patch in need of some major renovation, dig it over now and let the frost break down the soil and manure for you before planting.
  • And don’t forget to keep an eye out for your hedgehogs especially if they’ve decided to hibernate in your garden under wood piles.

            Happy Gardening


This is what I try to do in my allotment, in which I grow vegetables.
  1. Clean out the water but.
  2. Buy seed potatoes
  3. Cut out the old stems from the blackcurrent bushes and remove any branches that might lean over too far when they are loaded with fruit.
  4. Sow some of the parsnip seeds and keep some to put in next month.
  1. Prepare soil for early sowings and cover with cloche to warm up the soil.
  2. Sow leek, cabbage, kale and calabrese in trays in the garden shed.
  3. Sow beetroot, broad beans and kohl rabi outside.
  4. Cover some of the rhubarb with a wooden box to force it for early picking.
  5. Sow a few parsley seeds to maintain a progression.
  6. Set out early potatoes in light position to encourage shooting.
  7. Plant shallots.


This is what I shall be doing in my allotment during the month of May.
  1. Plant the maincrop potatoes, this year for the first time I shall use amour let's hope that they will do as well as its reputation.
  2. Sow my mange tout peas, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, scallions, radish, parsley and kohl rabi.
  3. Weed out the onion bed.
  4. The calabrese I sowed during March and planted out in  April has been eaten by the slugs or pigeons so I shall try some fewah seed outside.
  5. Sow runner beans in pots in the shed.
  6. At the end of the month put some runner beans in moist peat in a bowl to start them off for plants outside in a couple of weeks.


  1. Peg down strawberry runners into the soil to root.
  2. Ensure the beans, corgettes and marows do not dry out.
  3. Prune out fruited raspberry canes and tie in new shoots.
  4. Continue sowings of kohl rabi, beetroot and lettuce as well as French beans and runner beans.
  5. Sow spring cabbage,


  1. Sow parsley pots for use during the winter months.
  2. Pinch back sideshoots on plub tree.
  3. Cut out fruited rasberry canes.
  4. Plants out Japenese onion sets.
  5. Plant out a few garlic cloves.
  6. Finish sowing hardy spring onions and lettuce
  7. Plant out rooted strawberry runners.


  1. Harest the last of the beans and take down the poles before the gales arrive.
  2. Cut and clear the remains of the summer cabbage and lettuce.
  3. On a dry day lift the remaining maincrop potatoes and leave on the surface for a couple of hours to dry before storing.
  4. Plant out spring cabbage and winter lettuce.
  5. Lift a rhubarb crown for forcing later in the winter.
  6. Start winter digging.

Gooseberry Bush


  1. Leave a leg of about 6 inches
  2. Cut back all but 8 well spaced branches.
  3. In early Spring cut back new growth by half to an upward facing bud.
  4. Remove dead wood, centre shoots, and any low branches which will be weighed down with a crop.
  5. In mid July cut side shoots to 5 leaves.

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